By Sweep 35 Comments
Inbetween working off physical extremities and moderating you chimps on the forums, I have actually managed to salvage some time over the past few weeks to play some goddamn videogames. Let's talk about them!
Participating in demo's or, as they are apparently now known, "Beta's" are opportunities which I relish and, since getting my PC a couple of years ago, have actively sought out. Being so immersed in vidoegame culture means knowing specific videogames inside-out months before they are physically available, and any opportunity to decrease the time between "knowing" and "playing" should be leapt upon. Like a rapist.
I love Gears Of War, and you can read all about my beta impressions over here.The Gears of War 3 beta has been thoroughly exhausted by myself and a great many other enthusiasts. I love the changes and weapon balances, the new game types, and the general refinement of the game's controls. The level design remains dynamic, the characters look and sound fantastic, and there even seems to be a much more Unreal level of humour in the game which was painstakingly absent in the previous two Epic titles. In short, I'm super excited for Gears Of War 3. However it's probably for the best that my time with the game was not overwhelming, my university workload preventing me from spending any great lengths of time signed into Xbox Live. I managed to get a few good sessions in, notably with my good friends Tanuki and Brukaoru, and also managed to unlock the retail loot like Thrashball Cole and the Golden Retro Lancer, the latter of which I will treasure and the former of which I will not. Having clocked a sizeable amount of hours with the beta already, I'm almost relieved that it's drawing to a close. I'm desperate to avoid exhausting the game before it has even been released, and playing the same 4 levels repeatedly, for experience points that shall be wiped in a matter of days, seems overtly excessive. No, it's time to slow down and back off. Whilst I do not look forward to the inevitable withdrawal once the beta ends, right now I have more pressing concerns.
After reading some previews of the Witcher 2, there were multiple reports of the game leaning heavily on the assumptions that players had experienced the original. The Witcher is a game that had been recommended to me many times by folks here on Giant Bomb, specifically Claude, who insisted that it would be worth a look. With the Witcher 2 looking increasingly jaw-dropping, I decided that it was probably worth £10 just to see what all the fuss was about and pick up on some of the history.
I am not a big RPG fan.The closest I have ever really got was getting about halfway through Dragon Age: Origins. I didn't like Oblivion, as I have blogged multiple times, and I never played Diablo or any other dungeon crawler. It's just not a virtual aesthetic that appeals to me, the closest I have come to ever really enjoying an RPG being Mass Effect of Final Fantasy. Despite that, I decided that I should at the very least attempt what was being hailed as "one of the greatest RPG games ever made" (thank you MattBodega) and, with a few apprehensive clicks, bought the game on steam.
I'm fairly embarrassed to admit that the age of the game is cripplingly obstructive to my enjoyment of it.The animation is poor, characters sliding around and clipping through objects, and awkward posing makes the atmosphere immediately uncomfortable for me. The textures look cheap and rushed, though I appreciate that at the time they were no doubt considered masterful, but the combat is not to my liking either. I have only played for a couple of hours, so my initial impressions are very... initial... but I shall continue to play through the game with a slightly resigned acceptance. It's not usually my style to judge a book by it's cover, and I have little doubt that I'm completely missing the point when criticising the aged technology powering one of the best RPG games around, but it's something I can't overcome through mere willpower. I don't like the way the game looks. There, I said it.
This is a personal issue that I have had to deal with repeatedly over the years. I find it increasingly difficult to go back and play older games, the relative drop in quality being absolutely mind-numbing for me. But there is still hope. I shall continue to play The Witcher, and some more extensive impressions shall no doubt feature in the blog in the near future.
Everything really is great at your Junes.
Having submitted my graduation project on friday, I now find myself with large (relatively speaking, of course) amounts of time with very few educational obligations. I have exams in 3 weeks, but 3 weeks is a loooong time. So, in order to bridge the gap, I started playing Persona 4. It feels slightly weird playing through the game solo, and the game takes on a much more sincere tone without Vinny making goofy jokes. I'm still getting weird flashbacks of Vinny and Jeff echoing throughout my playthrough, which is pretty bizarre, and has made me randomly chuckle on more than one occasion. I tried naming my character something other than Charlie Tunoku but it just felt... wrong.
No doubt my affection for Chie will soon become manifest, too. Fuck, I can't remember the word to describe someone with multiple sexual partners? Other than "winning", obviously...
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